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Over the prior two weeks, we were short on comebacks. Things took a big turn towards exciting in week 13:

  • The Bengals trailed the Bucs 3-0 for most of the first quarter, and then 10-0 for the majority of the second. Cincinnati would ultimately take the lead by the end of the third quarter, but the Bengals still finished with a -3.0 Game Script.
  • On Monday Night Football, the Jets also jumped out to a 10-0 first-half lead before ultimately falling to Miami, 16-13. But more to come on this game later in the post.
  • Another team that fell behind 10-0 early was San Diego. In fact, the Chargers didn’t take their first lead against the Ravens until the final minute, winning 34-33 despite posting a Game Script of -5.9.
  • But the biggest “comeback” of the week was in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars ruined Tom Coughlin’s homecoming. New York stormed out to a 21-0 lead, but imploded in the second half, allowing Jacksonville to steal the win, 25-24. Jacksonville won with a Game Script of -6.8, the fourth largest of the year and the worst Game Script by a victor since the Lions 21-point comeback in London against the Falcons.

Below are the Game Scripts data for each game in week 13:

TeamH/ROppBoxscorePFPAMarginGame ScriptPassRunP/R RatioOp_POp_ROpp_P/R Ratio
  • St. Louis posted an insane Game Script of 30.9 en route to a 52-0 blowout of the Raiders. That checks in as the second biggest Game Script of 2014, just behind what the Falcons did on Thursday Night Football against the Bucs back in week three. In fact, it was just the 14th game in NFL history with a Game Script of over thirty.
  • On Thanksgiving, the Bears gave us perhaps the most pass-happy performances of the year. Matt Forte was given just five carries (gaining 6 yards), while Ka’Deem Carey had the other two carries (there was also one kneel that counted as a rush attempt). Against those seven carries, Jay Cutler had 51 dropbacks, giving the Bears (if you exclude the kneel) an 88% pass ratio, making it the most pass-happy game of the season. And remember: this was a competitive game, with Chicago only posting a Game Script of -3.7.
  • On the other side of the coin: the Jets. Let’s just put it in perspective with a simple stat: prior to the Jets-Dolphins game, no losing team all season had passed fewer than 42% of the time. Against Miami, New York passed on a 2014 league-low 23.8% of plays. It was the most rush-heavy game of the NFL season by a wide margin after accounting for Game Script. In fact, it was the first competitive game1since this 1-for-13 Cody Pickett masterpiece in 2005 where a team lost while finishing with 15 or fewer pass attempts (including sacks). The rushing attack was working for the Jets, as New York finished with 277 yards on 49 carries. But the Jets and Geno Smith gained only 49 yards on those 15 dropbacks: so much for evaluating the second-year quarterback.

Finally, as always, the 2014 Game Scripts page has been updated. You can also access it from the top of every page on the site.

  1. The Titans, in the famous 59-0 game against the Patriots, called just 14 pass plays. []
  • When the Rams finished dismantling the Raiders, I had to look up the history of teams with losing records recording huge blowouts. As far as I could tell, 52 points is the third largest victory ever by a team 3+ games under even. Who knew we were watching history?

    • RustyHilgerReborn

      Okay, you got me curious. Who/when were the top 2?

      If I were to guess, the late ’80s Buccaneers might have a game or two in the top 10. They improved from putrid under Leeman Bennett to simply bad under Ray Perkins, and always seemed to beat up on the more bad Lions and Packers teams of that era, while losing to almost everyone else.

      • In 1952, the 3-6 Steelers beat the Giants 63-7. In 1980, the 5-8 Bears beat the Packers 61-7. Pretty rare territory.

        • RustyHilgerReborn


  • Richie

    I thought the Jets were going to set a rushing yards record. They had 210 rush yards in the first half. What a difference between halves.

    1st half:
    Passing: 3/6 22 yards 3.7 NY/A
    Rushing: 29-210 7.2 ypc

    2nd half:
    Passing: 4/7 43 yards (2 sacks, 16 yards lost) 3.9 NY/A
    Rushing: 20-67 3.4 ypc

    I watched the game, but I’m not sure what the Dolphins were doing differently in the second half.

  • GMC

    This game.


    Appears to also fit the bill. David Carr drops back fourteen times, takes five sacks and throws a pick. On his six completions, he nets less than ten yards per attempt.

    Perhaps it missed the list because some of his five rushing attempts were pass plays gone (less) horribly wrong?

  • James

    Looking at that box score of the 59-0 Patriots/Titans game is crazy. Why were the Titans continually running the ball when down so many points. How do you have just 14 pass attempts and 36 rush attempts in a blowout? That game should be a fireable offense for the coach who is cowardly enough to run the ball that much when down by so much.

    • Richie
      • James

        Based on those highlights, the snow didn’t seem like a problem to the Patriots. The Patriots had 45 pass attempts to 30 rush attempts in a game they won by 59. If you keep running the ball when down 31-0, you are sending a message to your team that you are giving up and won’t try. At least try.